Top 10 Haunted Colleges in the Southwest

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If you’re at the stage of your life where you’re thinking to the immediate future about where to go to college (I’m not speaking to those of you who just graduated in May or June who should already have your plans laid out), here are ten schools for your consideration listed here due to their haunting factor.

10. Utah State University – Logan, UT
9. Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, OK
8. Johnson & Wales University – Denver, CO
7. Texas A&M University – College Station, TX
6. University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ
5. New Mexico State University – Las Cruces, NM
4. University of Colorado, Denver
3. University of La Verne – La Verne, CA
2. University of Texas at Austin
1. University of Nevada – Reno, NV

This link directs you to short blurbs about how each school is haunted: full story

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Haunted Libraries: Houston Public Library

Julia Ideson Building of the Houston Public Library

8. Houston Public Library – Houston, Texas

History

Houston Public Library, like the Scottsdale library, got its start through an endowment from Andrew Carnegie and traces its existence back to 1854 where it began life as the Houston Lyceum. In 1904, a building resembling a miniature temple housed the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library. But with the discovery of and subsequent oil boom, the city’s population quickly tripled in the following two decades and the city outgrew it’s tiny library.

The librarian of the Houston Lyceum, one Julia Ideson, was finally moved to complain publicly about the conditions within the cramped library. The collection was growing to such an extent that shelves were being put where shelves weren’t meant to be. This growth left little space for people to actually do research and other work there at the library. While expansion to the existing building was not possible nor practical, land was sought elsewhere. Mayor A.E. Amerman proposed a plot of city-owned land on the north bank of Buffalo Bayou near Capitol Avenue, an idea which Ideson endorsed.

By 1926, the city would dedicate a new building – named for the woman who advocated for the expansion of the Lyceum – that would serve the city as the central library for fifty years. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  In 1979, the Ideson Building underwent renovations and reopened as the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. The Center has been designated as an official Regional Historical Resource Depository by the Texas State Library.

It is this building which is believed to be haunted…

Hauntings

Although the Ideson Building has never been “formally” investigated, there are plenty of reports from workers who have experienced one thing or another, but all attributed to one man.

The ghostly manifestation is said to be that of Mr Jacob Cranmer, the library’s first night watchman who also worked as a handyman and gardener. He rented a small apartment space in the basement of the library and lived there with his German shepherd Petey. In his spare time, Jacob loved to play the violin and would often sit on the top floor of the library serenading the building he loved. In November 1936, he was found dead of an apparent lung hemorrhage. He was buried in Hiawatha, KS, but many believe he never left. Patrons have reported the sound of toenails tapping on the floor and others have often found sheet music left in unusual places when it is normally locked away. Patrons and employees alike have heard Jacob’s return to provide ghostly strains of Strauss’ waltzes.

A senior library services specialist once reported seeing shadows out of the corner of his eye on the second floor in the Texas Collection. He thought it was the shape of a man, but as soon as the man looked directly at the shadow, it would vanish. Lights in the Texas Room have also known to flicker.

If only we had living people as dedicated to their jobs as Mr Cranmer seems to have been and still is…

Sources:

http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/search/searchterm/library/order/nosort
http://www.chron.com/life/holidays/article/Sounds-of-ghost-s-violin-fill-Ideson-Library-s-1496738.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_Public_Library

Paranormal Festival

If any of our readers live in northwest Louisiana, southwest Arkansas or in Texas within a reasonable distance of Shreveport, they are having a Paranormal Festival June 20 – 23. Despite living in New Orleans, I won’t be able to make the trip since my father’s birthday is that weekend. If anyone happens to go, please drop us a line – either via email (address is on the right sidebar) or by commenting on this post – and let us know about your experiences.

Details about the Festival can be found here: Downtown Shreveport Paranormal Festival

Bigfoot – The Rockstar of the Cryptids!

” I do not do this bigfooting thing in order to prove or “discover” sasquatches as real animals.  I take the position that bigfoots have already been discovered, and we’re just waiting for the academics to catch up.  (Much like when Columbus supposedly discovered the Americas.  How can one discover what was already known about by thousands of people?)”

– Cliff Barackman of Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot from a May 2011 article he wrote on his blog www.northamericanbigfoot.com.

There are many names for Bigfoot…and I find that telling in itself.  From Native American and First Nation tribes all over the United States and Canada, there are names for a creature that has a common description: bipedal, hairy, tall and humanlike. Tak-he, Yeahoh, Wetiko, Windago, Rugaru, Kushtaka, Boq…these are only a handful of the native names for Bigfoot (for a more complete list visit: http://sasquatchresearch.net/sassynames.html. )When the European settlers came to this continent, they created their own names for the same creature: Skookums, Skunk Apes, Fouke Monsters, Wood Devils, etc.

The native tribes of North America have been co-existing with Sasquatches for millennia and they have countless tales in their histories about the creatures, along with other native animals.  There are printed reports of sightings of a large, hairy, bipedal creature appearing in “white man’s” literature at least as far back as 1811. Sightings from a spectrum as wide as Alberta, Canada to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, all the way down to Texas were recorded in newspapers in the 1800’s.

There is a misconception that Bigfoot sightings only started in the 1950’s when a forest road construction crew out in the Bluff Creek area of Northern California reported large equipment like 50 gallon drums and 48″ culverts being tossed around during the night in the remote construction site and huge footprints left in the freshly bulldozed soil. The first widely publicized casts of Bigfoot prints were taken by Gerald Crew in 1958 after he was an object of ridicule for reporting the strange happenings at the road construction. With the casts as physical proof, I’m sure Mr. Crew felt assured that he would be taken seriously.  Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people believed him. And it didn’t help when one of the supervisors associated with the road crew, Ray Wallace, later claimed that he had been responsible for placing the footprints at the site.  He couldn’t explain how he got the footprints impressed so deeply into the soil without leaving additional marks nearby, nor could he adequately explain how he tossed heavy items like 50 gallon drums and culverts over untouched shrubbery and into the creek at the bottom of the rise without leaving any signs of the machinery that would be required for such a feat. But the supervisor sure did like the limelight and the reporters ate up such a neat end to a troubling story. Ray Wallace would pop up throughout the next several decades in order to claim that he was responsible for hoaxing all sorts of Bigfoot evidence, including the famous Patterson Gimlin film.

The Patterson Gimlin film was shot by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin in October, 1967 in the Bluff Creek area not far from where the footprints  were found by Gerald Crew almost a decade earlier.  (Ray Wallace and his road crew were long gone by then, returned back to Washington state where Wallace lived and maintained his business.) Roger Patterson was shooting film for a movie he was intending to make on the Bigfoot sightings in the area.  Bob Gimlin was a friend of his who was skeptical of the creature and just along for the ride, so to speak.  On horseback, they rounded a bend near the creek and surprised a female Sasquatch across the creek by the water’s edge. As soon as she saw them, she left the area quickly and melted into the dark forest.  Patterson was able to get over a minute of film and also took casts of footprints that were left. Some of the film was fairly steady, but much of it was shaky due to Mr. Patterson’s horse being spooked and his following the creature to get a better shot. The best part of the film shows the subject turning to look back at the men. Not only is her face visible, but her breasts are as well.  If someone were to fake a sighting of a Bigfoot, why go to the extra trouble of obtaining or manufacturing a “gorilla suit” complete with breasts? The breasts are not rigid, but flexible, as you can see from their movement during her walk.  Scientists turned their noses up at the film; most declared it a fake without even taking the time to watch the film. Critics wrote (and still write) the creature off as a man in a suit, regardless of the fact that the top costume designers of the time were not able to make a “gorilla” costume that would display the same type of muscle movement and anatomical proportions. Modern analysis by interested scientists, designers at Nike (who must be intimately familiar with body mechanics), an executive from the Disney Studios, among others has resulted in some very supportive feedback, but the general scientific community remains aloof.

Happily, there are some very respectable names amongst those in the scientific world who are believers….or at least markedly not naysayers. Jane Goodall actually stated in an interview with NPR in 2002 that she was sure they (Sasquatches) existed. She may have subsequently backed off such a positive statement, but she still is firm that the possibility for their existence is sound. Dr. Grover Krantz, the late professor of physical anthropology at Washington State University, not only believed in the existence of Sasquatch, but wrote books on the matter and spent much of his free time in the field searching for evidence.  Dr. Jeff Meldrum is a professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Idaho State University and is also an author on the subject. He has also appeared in various documentaries about Sasquatch.

Recently, near London, Oregon there has been a discovery of over one hundred footprints belonging to two individual Sasquatches, one with a seventeen inch print and the other a fifteen inch print, walking along the shoreline of a lake and a nearby logging road. Cliff Barackman, who himself made casts of 72 of the prints, has been chronicling the research on the prints (some of which is being conducted by Dr. Meldrum) on his blog (the address of which is provided in the first paragraph of this article after the opening quote).  It is heartening that evidence of this animal continues to accumulate.

For me, I am a believer.  I cannot discount that so many of the Native American and First Nation tribes have knowledge of such a creature and the fact that their creature has the same behavior and appearance as the animal that is being described today, and has been described for the last two hundred years in our media. The evidence on the proverbial table includes not only the famous (and prolific) footprints, but also video taped sightings, audio tapes of distinctive howls, tree knocks (there are not many bears reported to be knocking on trees), human-like “chatter” in remote woods, visual sightings by thousands of witnesses over the decades, consistent olfactory experiences during sightings, stone throwing (again not common to bears, but common to primates), and hair and feces samples that have come up as unidentifiable as any known animal.

I just hope that when the animal we know as Bigfoot or Sasquatch is officially “discovered”, that they will be allowed to continue on relatively undisturbed. After all, the majority of witnesses report that they are not actively aggressive towards humans, but seem to just want to be left alone to live their lives as they have for thousands of years.

 

Route 66: Amarillo Natatorium

Although the building itself was built 44 years before the appearance of the famous Mother Road, fate would have it standing right on the very road which took travelers west to New Mexico and points beyond or east to Oklahoma and points beyond. Today, this little stretch of the infamous Highway 66 is called Sixth Street and it runs through part of Amarillo.
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Depleted Texas lakes expose ghost towns, graves

BLUFFTON, Texas (AP) — Johnny C. Parks died two days before his first birthday more than a century ago. His grave slipped from sight along with the rest of the tiny town of Bluffton when Lake Buchanan was filled 55 years later.

Now, the cracked marble tombstone engraved with the date Oct. 15, 1882, which is normally covered by 20 to 30 feet of water, has been eerily exposed as a yearlong drought shrinks one of Texas’ largest lakes.

Across the state, receding lakes have revealed a prehistoric skull, ancient tools, fossils and a small cemetery that appears to contain the graves of freed slaves. Some of the discoveries have attracted interest from local historians, and looters also have scavenged for pieces of history. More than two dozen looters have been arrested at one site.

Full Story

10 Haunted Houses for Your Enjoyment

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If you’re the adventurous sort and are interested in finding a good (man-made) haunted house to visit this year, we offer the following list of haunted houses. Please note that these were randomly chosen from searching online.

1. Cutting Edge (Ft. Worth, TX) 2009 World Record Holder for being the biggest haunted house

2. The Niles Haunted House Scream Park (near Michigan/Indiana border off US 31)

3. Netherworld Haunted House (Norcross, GA)

4. Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses (Ulster Park, NY)

5. Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride (Gradyville, PA)

6. 13th Gate (Baton Rouge, LA)

7. Twisted Woods (Myakka, FL)

8. Basement of the Dead –  (Aurora, IL) Voted #1 haunted house in the Chicago area in 2008

9. Chambers of Fear (Surprise, AZ)

10. Reign of Terror Haunted House (Thousand Oaks, CA)